Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is facing a second scan on a calf problem but Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is hopeful the Gabon striker will make a quick return to action.
The 31-year-old is expected to be sidelined for Tuesday’s Carabao Cup quarterfinal against Manchester City after sitting out Saturday’s Premier League defeat at Everton.
The Gunners face four games in 12 days during the festive period but no timescale has yet been placed on his return.
“Auba is feeling much better,” Arteta said. “He was more positive yesterday than in the previous two days.
“He will have another scan in the next few days and we will see how quickly we can get him back. You know how important he is for us, he feels that responsibility and he is trying his best to be fit as quick as possible.”
Meanwhile, Arteta has issued another rallying cry to his beleagured Arsenal players by insisting they need “fighters not victims” to salvage their season.
The Gunners have made their worst start to a top-flight season since 1974 and lost for the fifth time in seven league matches last Saturday with a 2-1 defeat at Everton.
“I like to look around me, whether it is staff, coach, players and I want to see fighters,” Arteta added. “Normally when that happens you have two types of people: fighters and victims.
“You just need fighters, you don’t want any victims. Victims just bring excuses, negativity and they start to blame everything that is happening around them or that is not going for them. You just need people who fight, people who contribute, people who are ready to give everything to the cause in these moments.
“I do pay attention and I have to be aware and I am aware of what is happening but I don’t read [media reports]. If I start to read all the comments, whether they are positive or negative, it would drive me mad.
“My suggestion to every player is exactly the same, all the time it happens with social media as well. You can’t control who is writing, what their intentions are. So it is I think a very dangerous thing to do. The atmosphere at the club is as good as it can be when we are all hurting.
“Everybody is worried and everybody is suffering at the moment because we want much more. The unity is there. Is there 100% unity around the club? It is impossible in any club even when you win because players who aren’t participating are always more difficult.
“But when you look at the perspective of how we are losing football matches and how we are we, it is pretty incredible. Last year, against Everton we won the game with 25% chance of winning supported by the stats.
“You win 3-2. Last weekend, it is 67% chance of winning any Premier League in history and 9% of losing, and you lose. Three percent against Burnley, and you lose. Seven per cent against Spurs and you lose.
“There is something else a part of that. It is not just the performance, it is something else that has to go our way but at the moment, it doesn’t.”